THE retail industry is not for the faint-hearted, according to the manager of a large Orange store who has been assaulted three times in the past six months after confronting aggressive shoplifters.
Sam’s Warehouse manager Leeann Whybrow said the incidents had left her battered and bruised.
During her last altercation with a shoplifter Miss Whybrow sustained a broken nose and black eyes, yet she has vowed to continue to try to stamp out crime in her store.
“I’m just trying to stop the shoplifting by confronting them, because I believe they should be stopped,” she said.
Miss Whybrow said all three incidents involved people of Aboriginal appearance who claimed she was racist for wanting to check their bags.
However, Miss Whybrow said the race of a shopper had nothing to do with her bag-checking policy.
She said she had a brother-in-law and nieces and nephews who were Aboriginal and resented being called racist.
“I’m just doing what I have to do,” she said.
Miss Whybrow said the assaults happened after she attempted to stop shoplifters leaving the store with personal items, including shampoos and deodorants, in their bags.
“They sometimes take chips and drinks as well,” she said.
Miss Whybrow wants to see shoplifters hit with harsher penalties.
“All they get is a slap on the wrist and a fine,” she said.
“I think they should be given community service ... or jail time.”
Miss Whybrow said police were investigating the assaults.